Paulo Sousa

Paulo Sousa, 2010

Paulo Sousa was Leicester City’s first ever manager from overseas, but his time at Leicester City was short lived.

He was appointed in July 2010, taking over a Nigel Pearson team that had reached the previous season’s Play-Offs for a place in the Premier League.

Pearson’s departure for Hull City in June 2010, at a time when rumours abounded that Leicester’s owner Milan Mandaric was keen on appointing Sousa as manager, was a disappointment to fans, but hopes were high that promotion to the Premier League would be achieved in 2011. 

Sousa’s reputation as a player was highly impressive, far surpassing that of any other Leicester City manager. A member of Portugal’s golden generation, he was in the Portuguese side which won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989. He went on to win 52 caps for his country, appearing in the UEFA European Championships in 1996 and again in 2000, when he was a semi-finalist. He was also a member of Portugal’s 2002 World Cup squad.

At Benfica, between 1989 and 1993, he won the Portuguese Supercup, the Primeira League title and the Portuguese Cup. After a year at Sporting Lisbon, where he played alongside Luis Figo in midfield, he moved to Juventus where, in 1995, he won Serie A title, the Italian Cup and the Italian Supercup as well as reaching the UEFA Cup Final. He was also in  the Juventus side which won the Champions League in 1996.

Paulo moved to Borussia Dortmund where he once again won the Champions League in 1997, together with the German Supercup, and the Intercontinental Cup.

After further spells at Inter Milan, Parma, Panathinaikos and Espanyol, injuries forced his retirement in 2002 aged only 31.

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Paulo Sousa
Paulo Sousa

Paulo Sousa departed Leicester City in October 2010.

Paulo’s coaching career began in 2005/06 as coach to Portugal’s Under-16 side. In 2008 he became the assistant to Portugal manager Carlos Queiroz. Later that year, he took up his first managerial post at Championship side Queens Park Rangers. He moved to Swansea City in June 2009 and it was his achievement there, leading the Swans to their highest league position since 1983, which led to Milan Mandaric appointing him to the manager’s post at Leicester City.

Paulo’s tenure at Leicester City lasted for only nine games. His attempts to introduce the passing style which had served him so well at Swansea didn’t work at Leicester City. He won only one of his first nine games, leaving Leicester at the foot of the Championship. He was sacked at the end of September following a 6-1 defeat at Portsmouth and a 4-3 defeat at Norwich.

The previous month, the Club had been taken over by a consortium led by King Power and on 3 October, the former England boss Sven-Goren Eriksson became the Club’s new manager.   

As for Paulo, he went on to manage Hungary’s Videoton to the Champions League group stages before winning the Israeli and Swiss leagues with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Basel. A two year spell managing Fiorentina was followed by managing China’s Tianjin Quanzian, a post he left in October 2018.

Following a spell at French Ligue 1 club FC Girondins de Bordeaux, he is now manager of the Poland national team.

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